- Open Call: YouNow Stand Up Throwdown Comedy ContestPosted 2 days ago
- Addicted To Comedy: “Comedy…Super Size Me!”Posted 5 days ago
- The Urban Erma: In Search of the Black Female SuperheroPosted 6 days ago
- May 2013 Comedian Book SigningsPosted 10 days ago
- The Urban Erma: Evolve or DiePosted 14 days ago
Addicted to Comedy by Wayne Manigo: I Forgot Your Name…It Happens!
First impressions can make or break your image, especially at a comedy show. I book my open mic show Bellylaughs in Bethesda each month at Caddies on Cordell, and I’ll meet at least five up and coming comics. Most of the week I will attend 3-4 open mic shows, and meet an additional 5-6 comics per show. That is a lot of names to remember…especially if I meeting a “hobby comic” who probably comes out once a month. When I’m meeting you after our initial meeting, there is a slight chance that I may have forgotten your name. To hep jog my memory, I might ask the following questions:
What venue did we meet at?
Where was the last show you performed at?
What was one of the ‘bits’ from your set?
By asking these questions, I’m actively reaching out to remember you – thus building the start of a relationship. If I meet people
(especially comedians) who present me with a business card, I contact them within 1-2 days. Writing a few notes on the back of their cards about what we discussed is a lifesaver. We may become Facebook friends, follow each other on twitter, or continue networking using other social media tools. Placing them in my phone contacts makes it that much easier for the next time we meet.
If you’ve ever tried to host your own comedy show, then you probably met with a variety of bar owners. Because of their extremely busy schedule, they also meet with various vendors for sales, promotions, event planning, and more. So I’m never offended if they forget me after the first meeting. I’ll open my meetings with small talk, but attempt to include a topic that truly interest the owner. His favorite band, how he created the bar…something that I can remember at a follow-up meeting. Once the initial meeting is over, I’ll present them with a copy of my comedy bio, a list of references, and other items for them to review.
During the follow up meeting or call, I have a “mini-icebreaker” to use before starting any business topics. They probably didn’t read the material I left behind, but when I opened the conversation with something they remembered – It worked to my advantage. Once I contacted a comedy club owner about using his venue for a small showcase. Remember – these guys (and gals) are approached 20 times a day or more by other promoters, comics looking to earn a gig, and of course…more vendors! But I discovered he was a former comedian who was ‘semi-retired’ from performing live anymore. Learning about his comedy history (thank you, Google), I was able to ask him questions about his career and we built that into a working relationship. Comedy is a business, and doing your research will benefit you in the long run.
Here are some helpful tips in a nutshell:
- Write notes on the back of business cards when meeting new people.
- Send a reminder email or tweet – something as simple as “Nice ToMeet You” will suffice.
- Word association – Try to link their name/face/profile/features to something you can remember.
We all have busy lives, especially if you’re working full time and performing comedy. There is no shame in asking for gentle reminders, or providing them. Now get out there and meet some people!
Wayne Manigo is a comedian and co-founder of DC Comedy Writers Group. He is the creator of “Addicted to Comedy,” and the ‘brainchild’ behind the annual comedy conference, Starting Stand Up: A Comic Beginning. He also produces the show, Bellylaughs in Bethesda at Caddies at Cordell.